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My Most Frugal Meals

August 8th, 2013 at 08:17 am

A list of my most frugal meals (each of these feed a family of three). These are all vegetarian (and all gluten free - so the pricing would be less for someone who can eat regular bread and pasta) and all $5.50 and under to feed three people. We aren’t light eaters, either! (I eat a ton!)

8. Fagiole soup with garlic bread - $16 - makes four meals (freeze three) - $4.00 each plus $1.50 for garlic bread = $5.50
7. Potato pancakes with applesauce and a salad - $5.50
6. Pasta with courgettes/zucchini and goat cheese - $5.16
5. Crash potatoes and a vegetable with a slice of cheese on the side - $5.00
4. Socca (chickpea flour pancake with courgettes/zucchini) with a side vegetable or salad - $4.95
3. Mexican scrambled eggs (with homemade tortilla slivers, salsa, green onion) and a salad/side vegetable - $4.79
2. Baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli - $4.43
1. Polenta with marinara and a vegetable - $3.20 - a savings STAR!

Later I will post our meals with chicken or turkey (starting at $8.25 for three, the least expensive is $5.63).

I would love to hear what your go-to meals are!

11 Responses to “My Most Frugal Meals”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Mine are: veggie scramble (with or without eggs), mashed potatoes with veggie topping, refrigerator soup, migas, pancakes or French toast, biscuits and gravy. I just got a free cucumber from a co-worker who gardens, so cucumber sandwiches will be on the list, too. I don't have the dollar value; I just know they're cheap!

  2. snafu Says:

    Home made soup or stew that use up all the left overs rely on ethnic styles and combination of spices.
    Making bread is cheap, easy and a huge stress reliever with or without a breadmaker [cheap at Charity outlets]
    Tortilla wraps combine anything you like for a quickie meal + it's portable if you need to get-out-the-door
    Anything the kids will eat over a baked potato or 'stuffed potato.'
    Rice or pasta make a good base for salad with added vegetable, meat or fish, tofu etc.
    There are 72 easily available styles of pasta and roux based sauce + spices is faster to make than the 12-18 minutes it takes to boil pasta a le dente.
    Casserole, if family balks, bake mixture in cupcake papers and even kids think it's wonderful

  3. snafu Says:


  4. monkeymama Says:

    Indian black lentils + rice. We had that last night because it's been an expensive month. Will basically feed us all for most of the week, (which says a lot when it comes to all of my boys/men), and is a very yummy meal. Otherwise, we do cook a lot of rice and lentil and beans type dishes, when we need filling protein at a low cost.

    I have the recipe:

    We'd love it if you share some of the actual recipes. Big Grin

  5. PNW Mom Says:

    All of those sound delicious! You are making me hungry Smile

  6. IndianGal Says:

    Soups are my go-to frugal meal. I eat a lot of bean/lentil veggie soups. Dried lentils/beans are terribly cheap. I also will add in a grain - barley, freekeh or wild rice (technically not a grain). They are also a money saver because you can add in all the veggies that are too limp to add to salads, and anything else that needs to be used up. We eat a lot of soups.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    It's been a while since I ran the numbers on a meal, but I'll try. These are three favorites when we're trying to have a cheap week:

    Hoppin Jean: bulk blackeye peas & brown rice, maybe $2.50? Can of chopped tomatoes $1.25. Onion $.25. Various spices & cooking oil, just pennies for the amounts we use. Serve with a cheap veggie side such as carrots, $1.50. So about $5.80 to serve five (3 adults & 2 kids).

    Pasta w/spicy garlic toss: Pasta $1, olive oil & spices pennies, garlic $.25, a cheap veggie such as zucchini $1.50? $2.75 to serve 5 and usually with a portion left over for someone's lunch.

    Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes less than $1 for the amount of ingredients needed, fruit $2.50ish, maybe veggie sausage or bacon $3 on sale, or frozen hashbrowns, $2.50? $6.50 at most. (And if it's veggie bacon or hashbrowns, we wouldn't use the whole package so could use for other things.)

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Spaghetti, peanut butter & jelly sandwich, eggs and toast

  9. Buendia Says:

    I love all of these ideas!

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    Oh, you know what's really delicious in the summer? A whole wheat sandwich with just sliced tomatoes from the garden, a bit of mayo, salt and pepper.

  11. CB in the City Says:

    MMMmmm, I love tomato sandwiches! Also tomato casserole -- if you have a lot to use up, just slice and bake on a layer of breadcrumbs with a topping of mayo & grated cheese.

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